Newt Gingrich’s Baggage Problem

If you don’t believe Newt Gingrich has baggage that will surely chip away at his polling numbers if he gets the Republican Presidential nomination — which I increasingly feel he can do — then just read Maureen Dowd, who effectively catalogs it in her newest masterful-as-usual column. The reality is that in politics baggage does count to a certain extent because it can steadily reduce support if it is highlighted or — as is the unfortunate case in politics — greatly exaggerated. Gingrich is fun to watch, has paid his dues to the Republican party, has made his peace with Evangelicals, has done exceedingly well during debates (except for his tiresome right-on-schedule picked fights with the media which probably endeared him to Republicans). But he has so much baggage TSA will have to send in a team.

10 Comments

  1. That the Republican party could settle on a candidate as foul and, well, repulsive as Newt “mushroom cloud” Gingrich as the front runner for a presidential hopeful speaks volumes about this country’s fall from both greatness and reality, which began as a free fall with 8 years of their preceding perpetual candidate, GWB.

    The GOP strikes me as a really bad infomercial, run continuously on A.M. Radio and cable networks, that make the phrase “American Exceptionalism” a truly gut-grabbing oxymoron.

  2. I know the main topic here is scatterbrained Newt, but I have to comment on your praise of Dowd’s column re same. Masterful? Really? I found it rambling and the prose pretty wooden by her standards. Her point could have been made much more crisply. And where was her trademark [and usually very entertaining] venemous wit?

  3. He has so much baggage that he will need to rent a gay boy-toy baggage handler.

    I am sure he can get a long list from George Rekers.

  4. I agree with Coco. Newt has a lot of baggage but a 40 year old dissertation isn’t one of them. Maureen Dowd has done a lot better.

    As an aside I think I actually have a Coco Laboy rookie card around some place.

    Newt has just as many flip-flops as Romney, is abrasive, unlikable and ultimately unelectable in a general election. He is smart and a good debater but that won’t be enough. I get the feeling GOP primary voters would rather have a guy that will beat up on Obama and lose than a more moderate guy who can win.

  5. Who would you want to run against? It appears the White House has made its intentions known by way of advertisements. Put money into eliminating Romney now and that leaves you with the Newt. What a gift! Christmas 2012 will come early for the Democrats since the process will be over by April, if not before. That leaves them 6 months to pick apart Gingrich like vultures on a dead carcass.

  6. I respect Sen. Tom Coburn (a member of the Bowles-Simpson Committee) and in a much pulled out, by Fox’s Wallace, statement said he wouldn’t support Newt.

    I wish TB were a presidential candidate?

  7. Newt IS smart– but unfortunately he has used his brains opportunistically– in the end his big ideas usually only benefit himself. Dowd is right to point out his contradictions– that can only be the result of a bloated ego that uses false rationalizations to deal with his own decision-making. He has a double standard for the white rich ownership class– and even though his thesis is 40 years old his statements about child labor reveal that he still has that double standard ingrained in his belief system.

    He may delude enough people who are tired of the obvious ignorance of the Palins and Cains and who can’t get past the plastic coating on Mitt Romney, but he has zero chance in the general election. His baggage will be rehashed over and over making him unpalatable to women and minorities. There just aren’t enough middle-aged and older white males left in America to make him the next president, so it would be a win/win for the Obama camp.

  8. I happen to think MO made excellent points. Newt’s fountain of ideas, combined with his expressive ego has often been mistaken for intellect or (on the right side of the aisle) even brilliance. Cleverness is not the same as intelligence, and cleverness absent coherence and consistency sure isn’t going to fool everyone. If Newt gets to the main course he is going to find himself as a David facing Goliath, but without a sling.

    The following passage struck a chord in me, because I know many, many people in this situation:

    (MO talking about Newt) ” Has he not heard of the working poor? The problem isn’t that these kids aren’t working; it’s that they don’t have time with their parents, who often toil day and night, at more than one job, and earn next to nothing.”

    Apparently people like Newt (and there seem to be many on the right) have no grasp of just how many Americans are working their asses off for next to nothing (which is what the minimum wage is) merely in order to survive at the most basic (and often fairly miserable) level. Instead they continue to carry around their old clueless bias about the poor deserving their fate. SO much ignorance from on high.

  9. Newt could have come up with job training programs for poor teenagers– but instead came up with janitor jobs for them– what would that teach them?? That they are in for a lifetime of drudgery if they show up? That adults in power change the rules so that they can pay less to a child?
    Would Newt have his own child working more than the current legal amount at this kind of mindless labor? After all, children of the wealthy are also victimized by over-entitlement, and often don’t have a good work ethic.

  10. It’s ironic, we went from a guy accused of not being too informed to a guy that is accused of being over informed. Both lack common sense and are not presidential material.
    Calling Tom Coburn.

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